Monday, March 30, 2015

Victorian Colour Illustrations

People appear to have stopped buying books for Lent, so instead of packing orders I've been busy scanning book illustrations and photographs.

Today's images come from an 1890s children's book by Dr Barnado. In an age in which few people travelled abroad and most book illustrations were black and white, these colour plates must have seemed extraordinary - a window on the world.

I shall refrain from the usual commentary, but have left the original captions. The pictures speak for themselves:
















12 comments:

Dale in New Zealand said...

That particular "apteryx" is a New Zealand kiwi, a nocturnal forest dweller. What it's doing transported to Papua and turning into a diurnal wading bird I cannot imagine - maybe when digging up a worm it slipped through the wormhole into a parallel but reversed universe. (And the "beaver" is a platypus, of course. From Australia. )

Seriously, you've got to love the chromolithographs. If any of your books are disintegrating, Steerforth, you might develop a sideline getting these cuties framed and selling through antique shops or online.

zmkc said...

The unrepentant editor in me wishes the caption writer had left out "anxiously" under Picture 7 (the begging dog); the rest of me wishes someone would take the trouble to teach me how to make mousetraps

joan.kyler said...

I love these illustrations. When I'm looking for books for my three very young grandnieces, it's the illustrations that some first. Even if the story's good, I won't buy a book with awful pictures.

Canadian Chickadee said...

"And what is the good of a book with no pictures or illustrations?" asked Alice.....

Some of these are lovely. I'm glad you're scanning them so they can be preserved.

Lucille said...

I'd never thought about the difference between waifs and strays, let alone girl waifs and boy waifs. I must go and look these terms up. How interesting. Thanks for going to the trouble during a quiet spell, to bring us these wonderful plates.

Steerforth said...

Thank you all for the much-appreciated comments and I apologise for my lack of a response, but I have run out of words.

Martin Hodges said...

Wonderful.

jamesreadsbooks.com said...

Some of these are terrific. All of them again remind me why I argue that all books should be illustrated.

I think illustrations would really help print books compete with e-books. They don't cost all that much to do now, so why not illustrated your novel like they used to do?

Anne Roy said...

Run out of words? Surely not ... what are you reading these days?

Steerforth said...

I really have run out of words.

Anonymous said...

I was starting to worry about you as you hadn't posted anything for quite a while. Very happy to see a comment by you. I have become oddly attached to hearing about your adventures even though we have never met and had become worried something had happened to you/your family.
Hope life is going well and the lack of posts is due to nothing exciting going on instead of too much of everything.

Steerforth said...

Thank you for your kind thoughts.